A/N: I do not own the Twilight Saga, I just enjoy playing with the characters!
"Don't worry Liz, I will come back to you, and Ma and Pa. I love you more than there are stars in the sky. Nothing, not even war, can change that."
Those were the last words my brother had said to me in 1861, when he rode off to join the Confederate Army. I loved Jasper very much, we were thick as thieves and he was always my protector. Two years later, word came that he had been killed, and I felt like my world had collapsed. Ma and Pa both became very ill, so it fell upon me as the only surviving child to take care of the home.
"Liz, what are your plans for this day?" Pa asked from his spot on the bed.
"I have gathered some flowers and I will be visiting Jaspers grave Pa," I replied, gathering the bundle of flowers that I had spent the morning collecting. I had spent a great deal of the previous day making sure that all the household tasks were taken care of, so my parents did not have cause for worry while I was away.
"Be careful, my child," Ma said from her spot beside Pa.
"I will. I shall return before nightfall," I inform them before walking out the door.
The cemetery where Jasper was laid to rest was not too far away, about five miles from the house my family had built. I have not visited since we had a very small ceremony that the local pastor was kind enough to officiate for us.
It took me a little over two hours to arrive at the small cemetery. It was just as I remembered, save for the fresh additions evidenced by the mounds of dirt resting before them. War had not just laid its cruel hand upon my family it seemed.
Jasper's grave was simple, with a small headstone with his name, date of birth, date of death, and the inscription "Son. Brother. Soldier." Written underneath. My brother was not one for big affairs, so his simple funeral and headstone would suit him perfectly.
Memories flooded forth as I was standing before the spot where my brother was interred. Except that there wasn't a body to be buried. In the beginning, that had given me hope that he was still alive and out there somewhere and that he would keep his promise of returning to us. But as the seasons changed and with no news, it was the only closure my family would seem to get.
Looking at the headstone, I pictured Jasper in my mind. Honey blonde hair, so different from my chestnut brown locks I seemed to inherit from our father, and blue eyes that matched mine gave me comfort. I refused to think of him any other way. He was strong, a protector, but he was also my best friend.
Thankfully, I had thought ahead and packed a small lunch for myself, so I could spend as much time here as possible. I finished my sandwich and took a small drink from my canteen and I turned back to the grave. As silly as it may seem, just sitting here on the blanket we used to fight over, gave me some measure of comfort as the tears began to flow.
I hadn't realized I had fallen asleep until I was startled awake by the sound of leaves rustling. The sky had begun to darken, and Ma and Pa would begin to worry if I did not arrive before long. I hurriedly packed up the small blanket and canteen, kissed the headstone and said a prayer for my brother, and hurried towards home – hoping that my quickened pace would allow me to get there faster.
I was about a mile and a half from my home when I saw her, standing within the tree line. She was beautiful, with obviously Mexican features despite her pale complexion. Her lips moved, but no sound came out, so I assumed that she was talking to herself. Her expression was torn for only a brief second, and then it seemed to vanish, and she suddenly seemed determined.
"You know, a pretty young lady such as yourself should not be walking alone so close to nightfall," her bell-like voice rang out.
"I'm sorry ma'am. I was visiting my brother's grave and fell asleep. My house is less than two miles from this spot," I said, unsure of why I felt the need to reassure her that I wasn't in any danger, but also unable to be anything other than polite to this beautiful stranger.
Impossibly fast, she was standing right before me and grabbing me by the wrists. I startled, attempting to take a step back due to her sudden proximity but also because of her unnaturally cold skin. Up close, she was even more beautiful, and I felt a brief pang of jealousy within me before something else took over. Suddenly I was terrified of this beautiful creature – and I must say creature, because there was no way she was human.
"What is your name?" she asked, her tone curious and polite.
"Elizabeth. Elizabeth Ann Whitlock," I stammered out, my voice revealing my terror.
"Well Elizabeth, I truly hope you survive this," she said, suddenly lifting my hand to her face and skimming her nose along my wrist.
Before I could question her about what she meant, she bit into the skin along my wrist. I jumped from the sudden pain, but quickly became distracted by another very intense sensation. Suddenly I was burning, and the beautiful creature was nowhere to be found.